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Howard Wolowitz and Women

on Mon, 03/29/2010 - 00:00

Howard Wolowitz from the CBS comedy The Big Bang Theory is the perfect lady’s man. With a master’s degree in engineering, he has a “dream” job of designing equipment deployed by NASA onto the International Space Station. He dresses in vintage 1960s attire and is as smooth with his pick-up lines as another icon of that decade, James Bond, in effect making Howard Wolowitz the very definition of debonair in the Twenty-First Century.

Then again, maybe not. One of his engineering achievements is a no-gravity toilet that malfunctions. His matching outfits are also equipped with an assortment of belt buckles that include the Batman logo, a Klingon communicator and a Nintendo video game controller. He also lives with his mother. And aside for a brief “friends-with-benefits” relationship with fellow scientist Leslie Winkle, his actual sexual encounters with women during the first and second seasons of The Big Bang Theory are not worth mentioning. Howard Wolowitz believes he is a lady’s man nonetheless, however, which ultimately makes him the perfect source for comedic advice regarding the opposite sex.

“Love is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. A relentless pursuit that only ends when she falls into your arms—or hits you with the pepper spray.”

“The littlest things can set women off. Like, ‘Hey, the waitress is hot. I bet we could get her to come home with us.’ Or, ‘How much does your mom weigh, I want to know what I’m getting into.’”

“Sit with her. Hold her, comfort her. And if the moment feels right, see if you can cop a feel.”

“Renaissance Fairs aren’t about historical accuracy. They’re about taking chubby girls who work at Kinko’s and lacing them up in corsets so tight their bosom jumps out and says, ‘Howdy.’”

“There’s a whole new crop of female grad students about to put on just enough winter weight to make them needy and vulnerable.”

Throughout the first two seasons of The Big Bang Theory, Howard Wolowitz utilized a number of methods to attract woman. For instance, there’s the mirror technique: “She brushes her hair back, I brush my hair back. She shrugs, I shrug. Subconsciously she’s thinking we’re in synch. We belong together.”

Then there’s the neg: “A neg is a negative compliment that throws a pretty woman off her game. Like, ‘Normally I’m turned off by big teeth but on you they work.’”

Once he even went to a bar wearing an eye patch. “It’s all part of a technique I’ve been studying for picking up women,” he explains. “You employee a visual display designed to make yourself distinctive and memorable.”

Howard is also not above using the Internet to find female companionship. “There are hundreds of Croatian women just waiting for you to contact them,” he tells friend Leonard Hofstadter in season two. “Anything-For-a-Green-Card dot-com. I’ll lend you my user name. It’s ‘Wealthy Big Penis.’ You got to make it easy for them, they’re just learning English.”

Then there was the time he became obsessed with finding the house used in America’s Top Model. “If it’s creepy to use the Internet, military satellites and robot aircraft to find a house full of gorgeous young models so that I can drop in on them unexpectedly, then fine, I’m creepy,” Howard replies when Leonard suggests that his actions are indeed “creepy.”

Howard Wolowitz has more than once complimented the backside of an attractive female with such lines as, “It must be jelly because jam don’t shake like that,” and, “Are you from Mars because your ass is out of this world.” His is also willing to give up his religious beliefs for the right woman. “Is it because I’m Jewish?” he asks Sheldon Cooper as to why he objects to Howard dating his sibling. “Because I’d kill my rabbi with a pork chop to be with your sister.”

Despite his lack of success, however, Howard never stops trying and even has a mathematical equation to prove he will ultimately prove successful in the dating game. It is based on the Drake Equation, which calculates the odds that a person will come in contact with an alien life form. “You can modify it to calculate our chances of having sex by changing the formula to use the number of single women in Los Angeles, the number of those who might find us attractive and what I call the Wolowitz coefficient—neediness times dress size squared,” he explains. “Crunching the numbers I come up with a conservative 5,812 potential sex partners within a forty-mile radius.”

Of course, Howard’s lack of success as a lady’s man could mean something entirely different. Leonard’s psychiatrist mother, Dr. Beverly Hofstadter, picks up on this when she first meets Howard and another friend/professional colleague, Raj Koothrappali, who has a literal inability to speak with women.

“That’s fascinating—selective mutism is quite rare,” Dr. Hofstadter explains of Raj’s condition before moving on to Howard. “On the other hand, an adult Jewish male living with his mother is so common it borders on sociological cliché. Both selective mutism and an inability to separate from one’s mother can stem from a pathological fear of women. It might explain why the two of you have created an ersatz homosexual marriage to satisfy your need for intimacy.”

For once in his life, Howard Wolowitz fails to come up with a response.

Anthony Letizia (March 29, 2010)

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